Facebook Acquires FriendFeed
August 10, 2009
Huge news in the world of social media today: Facebook has acquired online activity aggregator FriendFeed. According to the release, "all FriendFeed employees will join Facebook and FriendFeed’s four founders will hold senior roles on Facebook’s engineering and product teams." To-date, FriendFeed has served as an inspiration for many Facebook features (to say the least), adding the ability for users to import activities from third party services like YouTube, Flickr, and Del.icio.us, plus features like commenting and "liking" items in user feeds. However, though much-hyped in early adopter circles, traffic at FriendFeed has remained more or less flat this year, while Facebook and Twitter have exploded in popularity. While Facebook indicates that FriendFeed's storied team will be joining the world's top social networking site, it's unclear what exactly the future holds for the product. On FriendFeed's blog, co-founder Bret Taylor is rather coy, writing only that "FriendFeed.com will continue to operate normally for the time being. We're still figuring out our longer-term plans for the product with the Facebook team." Combined with the significant overlap between the two products, what exactly will remain of the FriendFeed we know today is at this point still very much in question. The full release from Facebook is below:
Facebook Agrees to Acquire Sharing Service FriendFeed Facebook today announced that it has agreed to acquire FriendFeed, the innovative service for sharing online. As part of the agreement, all FriendFeed employees will join Facebook and FriendFeed’s four founders will hold senior roles on Facebook’s engineering and product teams. “Facebook and FriendFeed share a common vision of giving people tools to share and connect with their friends,” said Bret Taylor, a FriendFeed co-founder and, previously, the group product manager who launched Google Maps. “We can’t wait to join the team and bring many of the innovations we’ve developed at FriendFeed to Facebook’s 250 million users around the world.” “As we spent time with Mark and his leadership team, we were impressed by the open, creative culture they’ve built and their desire to have us contribute to it,” said Paul Buchheit, another FriendFeed co-founder. Buchheit, the Google engineer behind Gmail and the originator of Google’s “Don’t be evil” motto, added, “It was immediately obvious to us how passionate Facebook’s engineers are about creating simple, ground-breaking ways for people to share, and we are extremely excited to join such a like-minded group.” Taylor and Buchheit founded FriendFeed along with Jim Norris and Sanjeev Singh in October 2007 after all four played key roles at Google for products like Gmail and Google Maps. At FriendFeed, they’ve brought together a world-class team of engineers and designers. “Since I first tried FriendFeed, I’ve admired their team for creating such a simple and elegant service for people to share information,” said Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO. "As this shows, our culture continues to make Facebook a place where the best engineers come to build things quickly that lots of people will use." FriendFeed is based in Mountain View, Calif. and has 12 employees. FriendFeed.com will continue to operate normally for the time being as the teams determine the longer term plans for the product. Financial terms of the acquisition were not released.
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